It is now August and summer is quickly moving along toward the WV State Fair! This is a perfect chance to get out and enjoy an exciting, family friendly, fun and diverse event that celebrates some of the best qualities that West Virginia has to share. Last year, I tasted my way thru a few of the foods on grounds with friends and family…twice! Yep, this is the time to indulge a bit. Here are some of my fair fare comparisons. Take note and give them a try. Most of all, have fun, and live your best life!
We began with the Famous Ben Ellen Donut versus the Cinnamon Roll. I have to say that I was surprised at the salty, sweet, butterscotch/caramel taste of the Cinnamon Roll. The Cinnamon Roll is large and can feed a family of 4 for dessert – Bonus! The Ben Ellen Donut is a light, cinnamon delight – and not too big for one – no wonder it’s been there for decades!
Our second comparison was a traditional powdered sugar funnel cake versus a traditionally made elephant ear with cinnamon & sugar. The funnel cake when hot is easy to eat…pulls apart, sweet, chewy and great (don’t let it sit – it gets a little on the tough side). The elephant ear is similar to what your grandma made with the left over pie dough – by adding sugar and cinnamon and with a crisp edge to it, it is really close. Again, both are large in size and could feed a crowd – at least 4 folks for dessert each.
Our third comparison was a bit more on the healthy side. We compared apples! Candy apple to Caramel apple (I know it’s a stretch, but there is a great piece of fruit involved). Candy apples are super sticky, cinnamon and if you have dental work it’s a tough chewy bite, however, tasty. Caramel apples are simply delicious. I definitely preferred the caramel, but saw a lot of red/pink faces after a candy apple was enjoyed!
Our final comparison was a fried contest….fried pickles versus fried mozzarella. The pickles were salty dills in a crunchy batter meant to be eaten quickly with ranch dressing. The mozzarella was surprisingly lightly battered, gooey and dipped in a light marinara. I could’ve eaten more of this (but I own a cheese shop – so there’s that!)
Of course, it goes without saying that these foods are not some of the healthiest on the planet but it is fair fare and only once a year that we get to let our hair completely down, get food on our face in public without worry and enjoy the entire fair experience – food, craft, farms, gardens, music, animals, fireworks, and more. The WV State Fair is a bounty of the work of a lot of devoted folks from WV and beyond and is definitely worth sharing, definitely something to be proud of, and does not disappoint.
I hope my notes conjure up your curiosity if you have not attended our state fair yet. This year let your guard down a try a few new tastes. And, I hope to see you there!
– Tamera Pence, owner at Bella the Corner Gourmet in Lewisburg, WV.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.